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Londoner Kiwi heads to Para-Swimming Championships

Meet a fellow Kiwi in the UK, Georgia Gray, who has been selected to compete in the 2014 Pan-Pacific Para-Swimming Championships. She chats about Queenstown, breaking national records and the upcoming Para-Swimming Championships in our exclusive interview.

georgia-gray-disabled-swim_27571. Where did you grow up, and what is your favourite area in New Zealand?

I grew up all over, I was born in London moved to New York, then back to the UK and spent secondary school in Singapore. When I went to uni my parents moved back to New Zealand. They live in Queenstown, which I’m convinced is probably the coolest place in New Zealand. We live on a farm about half an hour from town, so it makes a great change from England.

2. You hold two national records. Can you give us more details on those?

One is as part of the 4 x 100 free relay team; we managed to beat the previous record by about 20 seconds which was such a fun race to be part of. The second is for the 50m freestyle, which is my favourite event at the moment. I was swimming 33/34 seconds all season and really wanted the record. I managed to swim a 31.55 which was a complete shock to everyone, mainly myself.

3. As a newcomer to the NZ Para-Swim team, what are your hopes for the Pan-Pacific Para-Swimming Championships?

I’d obviously like to PB in all my events, but particularly drop my 50m free time and hopefully make the final for that! I think we’re all excited about having a relay team for the girls, and we should be able to record a pretty fast time for that; a top 3 placing would be excellent.

4. Are you still studying at Oxford? What degree did you read for? And what ambitions do you have apart from your swimming career?

I’m in my final year at Oxford, studying Human Sciences. I’ve been offered a Masters at Cambridge for next year studying Public Health, but that’s really dependent on swimming. Ideally I’d like to do a doctorate in African Reproductive Health but hopefully after Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

5. How can kiwis keep up to date with NZ Para-Athletes and the Paralympic Games?

To follow the results of NZ Para-Athletes you can check out www.paralympics.org.nz or like Paralympics New Zealand on Facebook or follow @NZ Paralympics on Twitter.

Internationally there is live streaming of many events at ParalympicSportTV and results at www.paralympic.org